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Lin's Ceramic Studio Shuiping Comparison Set

Lin's Ceramic Studio Shuiping Comparison Set

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HK$1,500.00
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Description

The initial reaction to these teapot sets from Lin's Ceramic Studio in Taiwan has been incredible! I initially only had five sets, and four of them were sold within hours (the last one is for my own testing and use)!


Purion clay is a proprietary blend of mineral-rich ore (there is definitely iron present, as I have seen the pots change color with continued use) and terracotta. Purion was devised to compete with Yixing pots, which dominated the Taiwanese market at the time. Purion ware has been a resounding success in the Taiwanese market, and Purion has also been very popular with overseas buyers. I've sold many of the 100ml Purion pots, but was often asked if I could get smaller pots, or shuipings. Until very recently, the answer to both of those questions was an apologetic 'no.' Well, not anymore!

Lin's recommends Purion clay for aged pu erh and roasted oolongs. In my experience, these teas really do not perform well in Purion at all! Purion seems to bring out aroma better than any other material for me, but it also enhances storage notes and roast in pu erh and oolongs, respectively, which are both characteristics I try to mute with clay in order to optimize the tea drinking experience with humid stored pu erh and high roast oolong tea. I have instead found Purion to surpass any other material for aromatic teas, such as greener Taiwanese oolongs, hongcha and young sheng pu erh. Modern and vintage Yixing clay and porcelain never seem to give me the results Purion does!

I was initially very skeptical about Lin's slick designs and packaging and didn't think Purion could hold a candle to my vintage Yixing teaware. I bought a used 100ml pot from a tea aficionado in the US who decided to sell off his entire collection, and stick to porcelain alone. Well, I'm glad he went in that direction, because the Purion pot I purchased blew me away with its performance, once I figured out what Purion truly excelled at!

This set is composed of three pots: an 80ml Purion shuiping, 75ml Taiwanese red clay shuiping and a 70ml porcelain shuiping. All three feature multi-hole flat filters on their interiors, and all have good, fast pours between 10 and 20 seconds.

Below are Lin's findings and my conclusions: those of you who purchase this set can experiment and see what you think for yourselves! I would be very interested in hearing your conclusions, so please let me know what you think of these teapots.

Purion:

This 80ml teapot is single-fired at 1250 Celsius. This little Purion shuiping has an 11-second pour speed. On the box, Lin's recommends using this teapot for Sun Moon Lake Ruby hongcha, and provides suggested brewing times. Lin's appraisal of the Purion clay for Ruby was:

Return rhyme (aftertaste after the swallow): 3/5
Sweetness: 3/5
Floral aroma: 2/5
Fruit aroma: 5/5
Roast aroma: 0/5 (wouldn't expect to find this in Ruby)
Liquor thickness: 4/5

I tested the pot with 5g of zhengshan xiaozhong with four or five years of age. I found the tea to be maltier than when I last tried it in the 100ml Purion pot Lin's also carries, which could be due to the smaller volume (I used 5g in both sizes of pots). The osmanthus and agarwood notes from the zhengshan xiaozhong were less dominant in this smaller pot, but still very much present. I would use a bit less leaf for this smaller pot if brewing this tea again. I much preferred the Purion to the Taiwanese red clay and the porcelain for this tea!

Taiwanese red clay:

These pots are made in-house at Lin's, and feature a 14-second pour. Lin's recommends this pot for Dongding oolong and other oolongs.

Return rhyme (aftertaste after the swallow): 3/5
Sweetness: 5/5
Floral aroma: 5/5
Fruit aroma: 2/5
Roast aroma: 2/5 
Liquor thickness: 4/5

I tested this clay with the same exact zhengshan xiaozhong for consistency. I personally found this clay took away many of the more complex aromatics (osmanthus and agarwood), but made the liquor sweet and smooth. The sweetness was a real surprise. I will test this teapot with high roast oolongs soon, as I expect it to work wonderfully with those teas. I don't tend to use pots this small for pu erh or rolled green oolongs, since I feel smaller pots cool off much too fast.

Porcelain:

This little 70ml pot is also made in-house at Lin's. Lin's recommends these pots for Taiwanese green tea (which, incidentally, I hope to stock soon).

Return rhyme (aftertaste after the swallow): 1/5
Sweetness: 5/5
Floral aroma: 5/5
Fruit aroma: 0/5
Roast aroma: 0/5 
Liquor thickness: 2/5

Again, I used the same zhengshan xiaozhong for consistency. I did not scale amounts up or down. I found porcelain to blend the flavors together much more than the Purion did, and I could not discern the aromatics in the same way. Since this pot is a whole 10ml smaller than the Purion, the difference in volume certainly may have had an effect on the resulting liquor (and my impressions). I found the tea more astringent (Purion contains iron, which reduces astringency), and I also noted an unpleasant herbaceous note in the liquor which wasn't present in the clay pots. 


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